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CAMPBELL: Remain united after bitter campaign

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It has been a very long election season. Maybe I feel this way because it is only the second presidential election I have voted in. More likely it is that we are in one of the most polarizing political climates our nation has seen in decades. Last Thursday, a public radio show “This American Life” featured a piece about how the current political climate has destroyed friendships, relationships and family ties.

But now the election is over. President Barack Obama will remain in office for the next four years. As the last of the seemingly never-ending political ads trickle off the air, it is time for us, as a nation, to move out of the election mindset and forward together.

But this is going to take understanding.

This election was so brutal, not just on a presidential level, but for many places, also on a local level. People are still upset about how things turned out last night. It is going to take effort for America to heal from the wounds opened over the past few months.

And that healing cannot happen if we are unable to learn how to put our differences aside and work together.

There is no room for liberals to rub this win in their conservative friends’ faces or for conservatives to get caught up in the bitterness of the loss. That is not what America needs.

We have elected a president. We have not fixed all the problems we need to fix. And it is not solely the responsibility of the president to settle all ills of the nation. Whether or not you agree with the policies of the president, there is still so much you can do to help your fellow citizens.

Across the country today, there are millions of people living below the poverty level, millions of students who are not receiving adequate education and millions of people whose voices are not being heard. There are Americans all across the nation who are suffering. It is downright ignorant to blame that on one person or political party.

There is nothing productive about complaining, nothing productive about over-celebration. President Obama’s campaign was all about moving forward, and that is something we need to do – together. It will literally be impossible to get anything done if we remain divided. We are all citizens of the same country, and we have a responsibility to one another, no matter whom we voted for or what we believe.

The bitter partisanship America has known in recent years needs to change. That does not mean people need to change their beliefs, but rather, change their opinions about their opponents. You have every right to hold whatever opinion you want, but there needs to be more effort to understand each other and find ways to accomplish things as a one nation, indivisible.

In the words of the great Bruce Springsteen, “Wherever this flag’s flown, we take care of our own.” That means everybody, not just half of America. To take care of our own, we need to understand them. Reach out to someone whose beliefs do not match your own and learn something about her or his viewpoint. Find areas where you do agree. Respect that person as a human being and a fellow American, not just as an opposing opinion. Your rights do not change with your political leanings.

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One Response to “CAMPBELL: Remain united after bitter campaign”

  1. faith campbell on November 7th, 2012 10:43 pm

    Looking over the white uniform stones

    Rays of light glimmer through the trees

    A flag half-staff waves in the wind

    For men of courage who fought with these

    Helmets of faith in the Lord Almighty

    Swords of light that sang truth loudly

    Hands of steel that defended freedom proudly

    And trust in the Lord for His Word is mighty.

    I look around at the country I love

    Wondering why freedom wasn’t enough

    Why did people want to give it away

    Just for socialism and some free stuff.

    A flag half-staff for an era that has died

    A moment in time that freezes forever in my mind

    A soldier in battle taking that one last breath

    with the hopes that his children in freedom would find

    Helmets of faith in the Lord Almighty

    Swords of light that sang truth loudly

    Hands of steel that defended freedom proudly

    And trust in the Lord for His Word is mighty.

    I solemnly resign to the plight that is ours

    I am but one voice in a sea of many

    To take this blow is so damaging to my soul

    But I take rest in God for by His grace he bestows

    Helmets of faith in the Lord Almighty

    Swords of light that sing truth loudly

    Hands of steel that defend freedom proudly

    And trust in the Lord for His Word is mighty.

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